The National Crop Insurance Services released its bi-weekly indemnity report Tuesday, reporting that more than $5 billion in indemnities have been sent to farmers as a result of damages from the 2012 drought.
The top five crops that suffered the most damage from the drought are corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans and grain sorghum.
NCIS says farmers will invest more than $4.1 billion to purchase 1.2 million crop insurance policies, protecting 282 million acres of eligible crops. Crop insurance agents and loss adjusters continue to work to process farmers' claims.
As of Nov.13, 72% of the contiguous U.S. is classified as a drought area, with the High Plains one of the hardest-hit areas. The High Plains – which includes the Dakotas, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska – is still in heavy extreme (D3) to exceptional (D4) drought, with 98% of its area classified in some level of drought.
Winter wheat is following in the footsteps of the corn, soybeans, cotton and sorghum that suffered this summer. The latest crop progress report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service lists winter wheat condition at 24% poor to very poor.
At the peak of drought this summer, 80% of the lower 48 was in a drought that reached nearly coast-to-coast.